By Valerie Perkin
Air Force Gymnastics Media Relations Director
If you need to find an assistant gymnastics coach during the months of January to April, you would normally check the gym, the office or someplace around the hotel if it’s a road weekend. But, on Thursday, Feb. 26, if you needed to find fourth-year Air Force assistant coach and 2004 Olympian Brett McClure, you had to look up.
Oh yeah, and don’t blink … because he’s that speck of silver in the sky that just went supersonic.
The day began innocently enough, as the Air Force men’s gymnastics team loaded up an Academy bus and headed out for a dual meet at Arizona State. Soon, the squad was secured onto a Southwest Airlines plane for an uneventful flight, direct from Denver to Phoenix.
But, McClure knew what was coming.
“I remember looking out the window, staring down at our beautiful terrain,” McClure said of how he spent his time on the two-hour flight. “Then, I imagined breaking the sound barrier, heading directly at it. It was a bit terrifying, imaging the capabilities of the incredible F-16 Fighting Falcon. I was immediately taken back with nervous anticipation of what was to come.”
Air Force’s flight landed in Phoenix around 0830, and McClure and six gymnasts were ushered into a whirlwind of activity. McClure was joined on this memorable excursion by freshmen Tory Brown and James Okamoto, as well as juniors Dan Klimkowski, Nash Mills and Aaron Zaiser.